In March 2021, Brigadoon Holiday Park at North Haven was devastated by the once in 100 year floods with 96 permanent residents suffering extensive damage to their homes and losing the majority of their possessions. Most residents are aged between 55 & 95 and don’t have the funds to rebuild or purchase new items. Homes required extensive repairs prior to re-occupation and some were beyond repair.
In April, Make a Difference PMQ, with help from local businessman Mal Neale, partnered together on a mission to roll out a washing machine and fridge drive. Through Teale Bryan, M.A.D approached Josh Fairhall owner of Bi Rite in Kempsey and Gloucester, who kindly offered to supply washing machines and fridges at cost price with free delivery. The M.A.D Flood Appeal goal was to facilitate the donation of 100 appliances in 30 days. With incredible support from the community, 70 appliances were donated in 14 days. This was phase one in what became an evolving process of flood relief projects for M.A.D.
Over the following weeks and months, it became clear that a broader approach to flood relief was needed. To meet this need, Make a Difference connected with other state and community groups such as GIVIT, Resilience NSW and St. Agnes Parish to provide support. Linen was donated by Sheridan and distributed, air conditioning units installed and water pumps and power generators acquired. In addition, flooring restored and housing brought back to a state that is now liveable.
Through the incredible community generosity shown throughout the appeal, a large number of residents across the greater Port Macquarie area that included residents at Brigadoon Holiday Park and Riverside Residential Village in Port Macquarie were able to get back on their feet.
“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference” Kathy Calvin.